• Shabwa

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 6:51 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 6:51 AM

Teachers in Shabwah, Yemen, Moonlight for Extra Income

(AWP) - Teacher Essam Hammoud wakes up early every day and makes a long commute to his job in Hneishan Secondary School in Ataq, the main town of the province of Shabwah, southeastern Yemen.

Hammoud teaches Islamic education throughout the school day, then shakes off his fatigue to go to a second job, in a grain mill on the outskirts of the city, to earn additional income to cover his family’s needs.

The 43-year-old teacher says that his low salary is not enough to make ends meet for his family, in a country where price hikes and high living costs are troubling citizens.

“I go to my teaching job in the morning, and later do some extra work. The salary is not enough, because of the high prices, rent expenses, and transportation. I get 79,200 Yemeni riyals (roughly $316), and I don’t know whether I should spend it on the household, transport, rent, medicine or other things,” he said in a dejected tone.

“I appeal to the authorities to show some care for teachers, who are no longer valued. Teachers cannot do without extra jobs,” he added.

Hammoud and many of his colleagues urge the government to find solutions to improve teachers’ financial conditions, noting that their deteriorating status is reflected in their performance inside school.

Nasser Al-Asi, the headmaster of the Hneishan Secondary School, said that if there were incentives added to the teachers’ salaries, the school administration would have the right to hold them accountable for the plans, preparation and student follow-up to complete an entire school day.

He pointed out that his salary was not enough for him either, but that he could not work another job, as it would interfere with his responsibilities as a secondary school director.